DENVER - John-Michael Liles scored his first goal in nearly four months, Peter Forsberg showed very little rust in his return and the Colorado Avalanche won their fourth straight, beating the Vancouver Canucks 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Forsberg didn't appear as though he'd been out of the game for almost a year. He had a nifty give-and-go with Joe Sakic that Roberto Luongo turned aside, displayed some nice moves on his troublesome right foot and even mixed it up a little bit with Alex Burrows.
The Avalanche are 4-0 since signing Forsberg and acquiring defensemen Adam Foote and Ruslan Salei just before the trade deadline.
Paul Stastny scored his 20th goal of the season in the first period and Andrew Brunette had two assists.
It was Liles' third goal of the season and first since Nov. 9 against the Canucks.
Jose Theodore won his fourth straight, his longest streak of the season, as he finished with 26 saves. Theodore was momentarily stunned midway through the second period when Matt Pettinger accidentally kneed him in the back of the head as Theodore tried to make a save.
Theodore stayed down on the ice for several minutes, before popping back up and returning to the net.
Ryan Shannon scored his fourth goal of the season for the Canucks, who are winless in their last four.
Things were testy between the teams all night. Before the game was even 30 seconds old, Scott Hannan and Burrows got into a skirmish, both drawing fighting penalties.
Then, 2 seconds into the second period, Cody McLeod and Rick Rypien went at it, drawing fighting penalties as well.
With that penalty, McLeod became the first rookie in Colorado history to top 100 minutes in penalties during a season.
Forsberg's return couldn't have come at a better time for Colorado, who had Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth leave with injuries against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
Svatos will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL and Smyth is out indefinitely after suffering a concussion and a minor shoulder separation on a violent check into the glass partition near the Avalanche bench. Smyth was rolled off the ice on a stretcher.
"He came out of the hit, as dangerous as it appeared, in not bad shape," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville said. "We'll see how he handles his concussion and go from there."
Notes:@ The Avalanche sold 1,400 additional tickets after Forsberg announced he would play. ... Vancouver's Lukas Krajicek (shoulder) and Brendan Morrison (wrist) are out indefinitely. ... Canucks C Henrik Sedin assisted on Shannon's goal, his 52nd assist of the season.